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Tubed amp for Cambridge S30? Under $600

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Pretty much what the title says. I've been looking at building an Elekit tube amp, but I'd also consider commercial offerings. Anyone have any ideas in this range? My source is a modded Peachtree Decco.

My conundrum here is that I will probably upgrade my speakers to something full-sized downn the line so I don't want to drop too much on an amp that will only serve high-sensitivity speakers.

I've got to imagine that anything will be a big upgrade from the LM3886 chip amp in the Decco but I'm open to any other suggestions yall have for something that would make more of a difference (I already have room treatments). Maybe a sub?

Thanks.
post #2 of 8
May want to check out the Jolida line on the Needle Doctor some excellent tube amps in your price range. The JD 102B is VG.
post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingling1337 View Post

My conundrum here is that I will probably upgrade my speakers to something full-sized downn the line so I don't want to drop too much on an amp that will only serve high-sensitivity speakers.

90dB is not high sensitivity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lingling1337 View Post

I've got to imagine that anything will be a big upgrade from the LM3886 chip amp in the Decco but I'm open to any other suggestions yall have for something that would make more of a difference (I already have room treatments). Maybe a sub?

Thanks.

Yes, there is much imagining going on there. Any tube amp will likely sound different simply because it's output impedance will be higher than anything SS and cause frequency response errors.

Put the money towards larger/better speakers and maybe some treatments before even thinking about a tube amp.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

90dB is not high sensitivity.

Yes, there is much imagining going on there. Any tube amp will likely sound different simply because it's output impedance will be higher than anything SS and cause frequency response errors.

Put the money towards larger/better speakers and maybe some treatments before even thinking about a tube amp.

Cool. So if I'm going to sell the Cambridge, that would put me in around the $800 range for a new pair of speakers.

How about something like the Ascend Sierra 1? Seems like they get a lot of good reviews.
post #5 of 8
Way too small for my tastes.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Way too small for my tastes.

My room in my parents house is 12x12 and when I move out soon, I doubt I'll have much more space. So full-size is not an option ATM. But just for kicks, what would you recommend in that price range?
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingling1337 View Post

My room in my parents house is 12x12 and when I move out soon, I doubt I'll have much more space. So full-size is not an option ATM. But just for kicks, what would you recommend in that price range?

OK then, that puts a different light on things. As I design/build my own speakers these days, I don't follow what's commercially available any more and rarely even glance at any of the online audio magazines as they are so hideously inane they render my few still functioning neurons to catatonia.

However, if the plan is to replace them in the relatively short term, new is simply peeing money away. You will take a big hit on resale.

My suggestion would be to look on CL or sleazebay for British bookshleves from the 80's to mid 90's when they were still designed and made in Blighty. Mission, KEF, B&W, Rogers, Celestion, Castle and even Linn Kans are my OTTOMH suggestions but far from all available. Stiff like Paradigm, Boston and Polk are probably fine too but we had so little exposure to them down here that I had no exposure to them then. Find something that looks good, doesn't sound like it's been abused (local pickup and testing preferred) and do some googling on the model. Spend <$150 now on something and you'll likely get it all back later.

Better still, would be just keep what you have, save more in the interim and just buy the best speakers you can when you move out. And if going into shared digs, DO NOT put nice gear into the common spaces.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

OK then, that puts a different light on things. As I design/build my own speakers these days, I don't follow what's commercially available any more and rarely even glance at any of the online audio magazines as they are so hideously inane they render my few still functioning neurons to catatonia.

However, if the plan is to replace them in the relatively short term, new is simply peeing money away. You will take a big hit on resale.

My suggestion would be to look on CL or sleazebay for British bookshleves from the 80's to mid 90's when they were still designed and made in Blighty. Mission, KEF, B&W, Rogers, Celestion, Castle and even Linn Kans are my OTTOMH suggestions but far from all available. Stiff like Paradigm, Boston and Polk are probably fine too but we had so little exposure to them down here that I had no exposure to them then. Find something that looks good, doesn't sound like it's been abused (local pickup and testing preferred) and do some googling on the model. Spend <$150 now on something and you'll likely get it all back later.

Better still, would be just keep what you have, save more in the interim and just buy the best speakers you can when you move out. And if going into shared digs, DO NOT put nice gear into the common spaces.


That's definitely a good call. I'll keep saving and then decide, when I settle on a place and roommates. Or just go with a nice pair of headphones... I'd love to try those HiFiMan planar.
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